For travellers visiting for the first time, Singapore’s Civic District is a heady mix of heritage and modernity. High-rise hotels sit side by side with colonial buildings; former seats of power find a new lease on life in the form of verdant parks and modern art galleries; pre-eminent museums champion the artwork of rising regional artists.
If you plan to take in these sights with a bout of urban exploration, you’ll probably want to find lodging at one of the Civic District’s many stellar hotels. Here’s a list of accommodation options in the heart of Singapore.
The Fullerton Hotel
The Fullerton Building’s past makes it a repository of stories for history buffs. Once Singapore’s first General Post Office, the building’s neo-classical façade now houses the five-star Fullerton Hotel.
Gazetted as Singapore’s 71st national monument in 2015, this 400-room hotel has won multiple accolades for its world-class service and amenities. The establishment is also home to The Fullerton Heritage Gallery, which provides a glimpse into the lives of the Singaporean pioneers who lived around the precinct.
Exploring the vicinity—The Singapore River
Make your way down the Singapore River—once home to coolies and flourishing commerce—and be enchanted by the bright lights of this historic locale. To discover windows into the past, keep your eyes peeled for People of the River, a series of bronze statues hearkening to Singapore’s yesteryears.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178. +65 6733 8388.
Swissôtel The Stamford
Towering over the Civic District, this modern luxury hotel boasts 1,261 rooms and suites spread across 73 floors. The hotel’s convenient location next to City Hall MRT train station, impeccable service standards and world-class facilities makes it popular with business travellers and vacationers alike. Amenities include six tennis courts, two free-form swimming pools and a pair of gyms.
Exploring the vicinity—National Gallery Singapore
To become more learned about the world of colonial architecture and Southeast Asian art, pay a visit to National Gallery Singapore, housed in Singapore’s City Hall and former Supreme Court. Lovingly restored in 2015, the twin buildings’ fluted Corinthian columns are a sight to behold, as are the 8,000 pieces of art within its halls. The museum’s collection include a range of modern art, and works from Singapore and the region that date back to the 19th century.
Swissotel The Stamford. 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882. +65 6338 8585.
Hotel Fort Canning
A boutique luxury hotel nestled amidst the lush greenery of an iconic park, Hotel Fort Canning is the perfect oasis for those looking for reprieve from bustling city life. You’ll be able to kick back and relax at their in-house spa, work up a sweat at the gym and explore this colonial-style compound at your leisure.
Exploring the vicinity—Fort Canning Park
Embark on an adventure the moment you step foot off the hotel grounds. With its lush greenery and colonial artefacts, Fort Canning Park is the perfect place for avid explorers who’d like to get connected with nature while delving into the past.
Take a walk through the Spice Gardens, venture beneath the ground to discover a former British command centre that predates World War II, and learn about the locale’s rich history as a seat of political power.
Hotel Fort Canning. 11 Canning Walk, Singapore 178881. +65 6559 6770.
Grand Park City Hall
Located in the heart of the Civic District, Grand Park City Hall’s modern architecture pays homage to the century-old shophouses that used to stand in the same location.
Guests can expect various top-notch amenities and state-of-the-art technology—such as facial recognition check-in on its app—as well as a gym and a rooftop swimming pool.
If you’re travelling with the family, the Family Suite comes with a dedicated room and activity area for the little ones.
Exploring the vicinity—Armenian Church
Just across the road from the hotel, you’ll find the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator. A quiet haven amidst the city bustle, this religious institution is Singapore’s oldest church. Deepen your understanding of religious architecture, as you admire its façade and wander through its tranquil Memorial Garden.
Grand Park City Hall. 10 Coleman Street, Singapore 179809. +65 6336 3456.
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel
It’s hard to miss the neo-classical architecture of the Capitol Building. Formerly a historic cinema and theatre, this landmark holds fond memories for Singaporeans who grew up watching silver screen classics and gala performances in its halls.
The restored Capitol Building and Stamford House is now home to The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, a five-star hotel with 157 rooms and suites. A seamless blend of heritage and contemporary comfort, the hotel’s facilities include luxury spa treatments, a fitness centre and a limousine service for those who’d like to travel in style.
Exploring the vicinity— CHIJMES
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel is right next door to Capitol Piazza—a luxury mall—and the iconic Capitol Theatre. If you’d like to dine amidst historical architecture, however, we suggest heading over to CHIJMES . Formerly the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, the courtyards of this exquisitely-constructed building now house various dining, shopping and entertainment outlets.
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel. 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906. +65 6368 8888.